Agriculture, which provides our livelihood, has reached a point of no return. It is urgent to rethink it, if we are to believe “The little guys from the countryside” by Arnaud Brugier. This takes stock on the ground, with peasants totally subservient to the diktats of the CAP (common agricultural policy) concocted in pharmacies in Brussels. “We don’t decide anything anymore ”, recognizes a breeder who explains how the bonus system determines her professional choices.
For example, if the European aid granted to meat producers decreases, they immediately convert to growing corn. Farmers are pushed to modernize and overproduce. As a result, they are fewer and fewer on increasingly large farms. Hence the reflection of one of them on the size of harvesters, which has continued to increase over the years. The successive reforms of the CAP have pushed the aberration to its height. By dint of subsidies to compensate for lost income, we end up financing farmers who no longer cultivate anything. We must not forget either the drop in the quality of the products of an overly industrialized agriculture. “The common agricultural policy, declares in the film the landscape designer Gilles Clément, it is a vision of the exploitation of living things by economists and manufacturers. ”
Fortunately, the resistance is organizing. See “Very motivated locals”, which describes the struggle of market gardeners and agricultural producers to sell and consume locally. Quite the opposite of the long circuits encouraged by Brussels. We are studying the case of Loco-Motifs (hence the title), an Aveyron association based in Arvieu, not far from Rodez, which sells baskets of agricultural products and delivers them to shops in the department. A system that can be found elsewhere in France but which has the merit of being fairly detailed in this living and dense documentary.
In Arvieu, the CAP is not the main concern, and producers probably hardly receive the subsidies. On the other hand, they escape the aberrations of the quota policy, and they envision agriculture outside the productivist obsessions of the European Union. We discover, for example, a type of pig farming that is extremely rare, because they live in the open air. Pigs frolicking in the forest, it surprises … Same principle, but even more local in “A village in the wind” by Jean-Louis Gonterre, who discusses the case of Burdignes, a small town in the Loire, near Saint Etienne, which has become an almost self-sufficient laboratory of organic farming, and combining its concern for well-living and eating well with a rare sense of conviviality, complemented by a cultural component combining crafts and theater. A model to follow or not, which in any case shows a change of scale aimed at preserving a way of life hampered by the headlong rush of trade and industry, which has reduced the peasant world to a skin of sorrow. Utopias undoubtedly, but utopias essential to make the world closer and accessible by reducing transport and intermediaries. The health of the economy, in the long term, but also health itself, is at this price.
” The little guys from the countryside ” by Arnaud Brugier. France, 2013, 1 h 28
“Very motivated locals” by Oliver Dickinson. France, 2016, 1 h 18
“A village in the wind” by Jean-Louis Gonterre. France, 2018, 1 h 16
To see on cinemutins.com